What is Street Creatures? This is the game I run on Twitter every Friday. I’ve
collected all the past quizzes here in one place so you can either relive them, or play
them for the first time.
How does it work? Provided are four, seemingly unrelated clues, that are all
connected by a wild organism that can be found in a city. Look at the four clues,
do some research, and when you think you’ve figured it out, click on ‘Answer’
to reveal what connects the clues, and how they are connected.
Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilionidae)
When swallowtail caterpillar gets ready to pupate, they spin a girdle, or suspension loop, out of silk, attaching themselves to a surface like a stem, so they don’t fall.
Some early instars of swallowtail caterpillars mimic bird poo to avoid predation. As they grow, later instars change their look and some adopt eye spots, warning colors or camouflage.
If the caterpillar’s camouflage doesn’t work, they also have a osmeterium, which is a gland behind their head. When attacked, they whip it out and rub the toxic secretions on the predator.
If you see a butterfly with tails on their wings, there’s a good chance it’s a swallowtail. Along with their large size, the tails are a good field marking to keep an eye out for. Although it seems birds often nip them off so I see them missing often.